A Change to Our International Shipping Policy (Again)

It has been about three years since I decided to end international shipping.  Since then, I have received numerous requests to reconsider that policy, many of which were persuasive and appeal to my libertarian leanings.  I have decided to resume international shipping of seeds only.  I will not send roots and tubers outside the USA.  Please don’t let this change give you any hope that I will change my mind about that.

I decided to discontinue international shipping for good reasons.  The main reason is that I don’t want you to get in trouble.  This is not an entirely selfless desire; if my customers have their orders confiscated or get into other trouble with their authorities, I feel bad about that.  This job does not pay enough for me to feel bad about what I do.  I concluded that I would rather say “no” a lot than “I’m terribly sorry” every once in a while.  Every country has different laws about the import of seeds and, as far as I can tell, most countries fall somewhere between entirely outlawing seed imports and requiring that you follow a permitting process.  Almost nobody follows these rules or even knows what they are.

I’m also not convinced that my previous policy had much effect.  Requests to ship outside the USA that I deny frequently turn into domestic orders with foreign billing addresses, adding expense and complexity but not really stopping anyone with determination.  My varieties turn out to be widely available outside the USA on auction sites and by other means, so I have my doubts that this policy really protected anyone.

For the record, I recommend that you do not buy seeds from us if you live outside the USA.  You are taking a risk.  The most common risk is that your order will be confiscated and destroyed.  If that happens, I will be sympathetic, but I will not refund you.  There is a greater risk though.  You could run into trouble with your authorities after you grow the seeds that you receive.  You might be growing a species that is not allowed in your country.  There is also a possibility that the seeds could be infected with a disease that is not allowed.  The consequences in either case could be very unpleasant.  I go to great lengths to ensure that our seeds are disease free and I am confident that they are; however, I have been confident and wrong many times in my life.

International orders will be sent with tracking and with a customs declaration that accurately lists the contents.  It is not illegal for me to send seeds to other countries, but it is illegal for me to lie on the customs form.  I won’t do that, so please don’t ask.

International shipping is now open for all seeds in the catalog.  This policy will last until something happens again that causes me to reconsider it, which I hope will not be soon.

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